The W3C has accomplished its goal of “convening industry, researchers, and the global community of Web developers to create freely available and open standards that ensure that the Web remains open, accessible, and interoperable for everyone around the globe.”
These standards enable the vast and deep volume of interactions made possible by different kinds of systems: Browsers, servers and all kinds of internet-connected applications and gadgets. Its guidelines are open, far reaching and thoughtfully design for performance and usability.NASA implements it in the software that powers Mars rovers.
The guidelines, which follow an intellectual property policy also designed by W3C, remain open and free to use. They have been to a great extent the result of volunteer contributions.
You owe the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) more than you might realize. And if you did, get ready to owe them even more.
After inventing the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee founded W3C. Academic and government players joined settle on shared specifications for hypertext. The rest is history. Since then, W3C has been the universal language unifier. Accessibility, while not its only area, became an early and longstanding focus, beginning with WCAG 1.0 in 1999. Later on they became responsible for obscure and popular guidelines alike:
Moving from the specification history lesson onto the future, we have the coming exciting new standards. It must be acknowledged that W3C working group members are volunteers, many of which are big tech employees. (Although it is not clear if the companies sponsor their contributions W3C every time.)
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Web Authentication and Verifiable claims (proof of identity online)
The ecosystem paradigm could go in many possible ways, but most designs follow one of two ways:
A "Hub" that has the basic elements of the experience, and to where every service connects to serve the user.
A method to exchange credentials between different services that also update the service regarding relevant changes in the user information.
It is not a reach to see how the LMS is the ideal hub for this kind of decentralized setup. As long as the user is able to switch hubs without compromising access to other services, the setup remains decentralized. Open Source is set to play a key role, as are customer demands for digital freedom.
A consistent and safe method to interact with digital payment methods has been envisioned for so long that it's starting to sound like an utopia. There has been a "Web Payments" working draft since at least 2016. Only in May this year a "Payment Handler" document was updated, adding to other specs such as "Payment Request API" and "Payment Methods."
Together, they could provide a way to increase the volume of transactions and make it easier for existing and new payment methods to join. An ideal ecosystem would look something like this:
An online store lets you buy, probably by adding items to a shopping cart.
The store uses the specification that allows them to connect to any compatible payment method.
The Payment Handler could incorporate many security and compatibility features. Online stores would no longer need to store your payment information.
Despite its efforts, W3C is the first to admit that the work from accessibility is far from being over. And no place reflects the fine issues the Consortium will continue to deal with than in the juxtaposition of standards, security and accessibility.